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Three things you need to know about Carbon Monoxide detection

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You can’t see, taste or smell Carbon Monoxide - that’s what makes it so dangerous. It’s a silent killer, so it’s vital that carbon monoxide alarms are installed throughout a property. Here are the top three things to consider when fitting them.

Get to know the standards and regulations
Different carbon monoxide building regulations apply across the UK, so make sure you know which apply where you’re working. For example, in England and Wales, any property with a new or replaced solid fuel burning appliance, such as a wood burner or open fire, has to have a BS EN 50291 Kitemarked carbon monoxide alarm installed. There are slight variations in the rules in Scotland and Northern Ireland so make sure you’re clear.

Ensure that the highest risk areas are covered
The regulations state that particular rooms should all have carbon monoxide detectors fitted. These include:
Rooms with any fuel burning appliances – such as an open fire, gas cooker or boiler.
Rooms where people spend the most time – such as a living room.
Rooms where people sleep.
Any room that has a flue running through it.

You might find you’re working with a limited number of alarms, in which case it’s vital that you make sure areas of the property at greatest risk are covered. These include:

Rooms with a flueless or open-flued appliances such as an open fire, gas cooker or portable heater - as this is where any carbon monoxide would leak into from these appliances.
Rooms where people spend the most time - to make sure they are most likely to hear the alarm.

Choose a Kitemarked alarm 
Only choose alarms that meet the required standards (BS EN 50291-1:2010 for domestic premises and/or BS EN 50291-2:2010 for caravans and boats). This means the alarms have been tested thoroughly, including the reaction times of their sensors, sound levels, and their resistance to temperature. All alarms will come with information about how long they last, varying between five and ten years.

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